The Author Hotline
being developed by CW4K, or Creative Writing 4 Kids. They are the company behind a website that enables children to create and publish their own stories online. In its first year it has signed up over 2000 members and has been enthusiastically received by children, parents and teachers. In fact the response has been so encouraging that they are planning a huge expansion of its services. Embedding The Author Hotline into the site is part of that expansion...
For more information on CW4K CLICK HERE
Q: What were you like at school?
A bit of a swot! I enjoyed maths, but my favourite subjects were art and english, particularly creative writing. I went to school in South Africa, where we also played a lot of sport, which I loved.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
I progressed from wanting to be a baby elephant (at the age of about 3) to the opposite extreme: a dentist (yuk, imagine sticking your fingers into strangers' mouths!). Then a graphic designer, an architect, a journalist... When I finally went to university to study business, I still had no idea what I would eventually become. I always loved writing stories, but I never truly believed I could be a real author.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Energetic, lazy and contrary
Q: What is your favourite word?
Hippopotamus (this changes almost daily)
Q: What makes you cringe?
Thinking about getting my fingers trapped in a door
Q: What are you afraid of?
Getting my fingers trapped in a door
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
My dogs, Toby & Megan (am I allowed two?)
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I like to take photographs, then I print and frame the best ones and hang them on my walls.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Anything that involves chocolate
Q: What do you day dream about?
New plots for my books
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Never think you're too old to try something new, after all, you'll always be 10 years younger than you'll be in 10 years time!
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Nepal. I trekked to the Annapurna Base Camp when I was in my twenties, through rice paddies, up and down hills, through tiny villages. The scenery was spectacular, the (vegetarian) food was delicious and the people were very welcoming.
Q: What has life taught you?
Be happy with whatever you're doing and if you're not happy, do something to change the situation as soon as you can!
Q: How long have you been a writer?
Although I've always done bits of writing here and there, I began to write regularly in May 2005, when I joined my local writers' group. That's when my first book, 'Ben and the Book of Prophecies', was born.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
Since about the age of six, although I never considered it as a career until Ben and the Book of Prophecies began to take on a life of its own as a proper, full length book.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
At the kitchen table if no one else is home, otherwise in my office (the spare bedroom). I need peace and quiet!
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
Best: I love creating my own worlds, characters and plots Worst: I sometimes get lonely. When this happens, I take my dogs for a walk, head to my local library, or phone a friend.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
I daydream a lot, mainly when I'm walking my dogs. Often, my best ideas come when I'm about to fall asleep so I keep a pen & paper by my bed.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I go for a walk with my dogs, usually in Richmond Park, near where I live.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper (amongst MANY others!)
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
Patrick Ness's 'Chaos Walking' trilogy. He's created a fascinating new world and I identify strongly with his underlying theme of anti-war.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Join a writers' group and keep practising!
Ben and the Book of Prophecies
Race for the Heir